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First Council of Orléans

 

First Council of Orléans

The First Council of Orléans was convoked by Clovis I in 511. Shortly before his death, Clovis called a synod of Gallic bishops to meet at Orléans to reform the church and create a strong link between the crown and the Catholic episcopate. 33 bishops assisted and passed thirty-one decrees on the duties and obligations of individuals, the right of sanctuary, and ecclesiastical discipline. These decrees, equally applicable to Franks and Romans, first established equality between conquerors and conquered.

The council claimed the right of sanctuary in favor of churches and ecclesiastical residences. It stipulated that ecclesiastics need not produce a culprit, unless the pursuer would swear on the Gospels to do him no injury. It settled the conditions of freedom for a slave upon whom Holy orders had been conferred; ruled that freemen should not be ordained without the king's or the judge's consent; determined the immunities of ecclesiastics and church property and committed to bishops the welfare of the sick and the poor; settled relations of monks with their abbots and of abbots with the bishops. The practice of divination was forbidden. Clovis approved the decrees of the council, which thus appears as the first treaty between the Frankish State and the Church.

Among those known to be present were the following:

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